Posted on

Protesters disperse as troops fire tear gas

Demonstrators laying siege to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad began to disperse as security personnel fired tear gas Wednesday in the second day of unrest after U.S. airstrikes killed at least two dozen Iran-backed fighters in Iraq.

Protesters began packing up a makeshift camp outside the embassy by Wednesday afternoon under orders from Kataeb Hezbollah militia leaders, who called the demonstration a win for the group’s fight to expel U.S. troops from Iraq.

The protest broke out Tuesday as demonstrators shouting “Death to America!” smashed their way into the embassy compound and set fire to a reception area. The Pentagon said it rushed reinforcements to the embassy, and attack helicopters swooped over the complex.

The mob retreated from the compound Tuesday evening and camped out in tents overnight, setting up a makeshift clinic and serving meals out of pots. Dozens of yellow flags belonging to Iran-backed Shiite militias fluttered atop the reception area and were plastered along the embassy’s concrete wall along with anti-U.S. graffiti.

U.S. guards had fired tear gas to drive back the crowd, and soldiers manned the roof of the main building, their guns pointed at the protesters. Iraqi forces that guard the usually safe Green Zone where the embassy is located did little to stop the chaos.

Anti-government protesters have been trying to enter the Green Zone for weeks, but have been beaten back by security forces, who have killed hundreds of demonstrators.

The State Department said all embassy personnel were safe and that no evacuation was planned.

Baghdad embassy attack:Donald Trump threatens Iran for insurgents storming